The Right Way to Call Print Buyers

My last PI blog post dealt with print buyers screening sales calls. This practice is efficient, no matter how frustrating it may be to salespeople. It also doesn’t mean your calls won’t be returned—just that you’d better leave something memorable in that voice mail.

The last thing I want to do is put words in your mouth when you call a prospect. There’s no specific script that works every time; buyers are different. I’d guess most get an average of 5 to 10 calls a week from printers, so they’ve heard it all. You need to plan.

Here are nine tips to help you prepare for sales calls to prospects. For more details, please read my April column in the Printing Impressions printed edition.

1. Do your research first. Find out what you can about the prospect’s company and industry before calling. I’m still surprised how many salespeople fail at this.

2. Check out your prospect on LinkedIn.
Chances are, he or she is there. LinkedIn profiles have tons of good information.

3. Know why your best customers stick with you. Is it really because you have two 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmasters? I doubt it. Don’t define yourself by your presses.

4. Know their names. Please try and get the prospect’s name correct. I have nothing against the first name “Dana,” but it’s my last name. When I hear it in an informal greeting, it means someone didn’t take enough care.

5. Assume someone is very busy. When you get someone on the phone, always ask if it’s a good time to chat for a few minutes or ask when you might call back.

6. Remember that it’s not about you; it’s about them.
Refrain from the “We do this and this and that.” spiel. Find out more about what they do and what they might need from you.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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Comments
  • http://JohnKypriotakis John Kypriotakis

    Great article “Dana”… (Ok, just kidding see #4)

    Another great article Margie.

    It’s amazing that we are still talking about #3 and #6 but you are right… I see it all the time as well.